AS reaction flowed positively around Scotland yesterday to the news that The National will hold a rally for independence in George Square in Glasgow next Saturday, the Scottish Socialist Party has announced that it will move its annual conference so party members can attend.

The National can also reveal that the Scottish Independence Foundation is backing the rally which will be addressed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and a host of speakers from across the Yes movement.

Warmly welcoming the Yes rally organised by The National, Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) national spokesperson Colin Fox revealed that the party’s executive had agreed to move its annual conference, due on November 2, to allow maximum participation in the event by SSP members.

He said: “Our decision to move our conference in favour of this event underscores the SSP’s complete support for demands for Indyref 2 and for a successful independence drive.

“As events in London clearly show the only way that Scotland can be sure of getting the government and policies it votes for is through independence which ensures that the likes of Boris Johnson cannot dictate to a people who never voted for him.

“In such a Scotland the SSP will campaign for socialist policies which meet the needs of people and planet and favours a democratic republic.

“However whether you are Brexit or Remain and whoever you vote for, the urgent and overriding priority is to intensify the independence fight and, as in 2014, the SSP will be at the heart that fight.”

The backing of the Scottish Independence Foundation (SIF) is greatly appreciated by The National. Their contribution is to the cost of staging the rally, and follows SIF’s backing of the same cost at the recent All Under One Banner march and rally in Edinburgh.

John Hunter-Paterson of SIF told The National: “Since its D-Day launch in 2018 the Scottish Independence Foundation, SIF, has distributed in excess of £100,000 to pro-independence campaigners across the country. The money was raised by donations from similar minded independence supporting individuals who donate whatever they can on a monthly basis.

“The foundation administration and allocation is carried out by a team of five directors headed by retired pharmacist, Willie Wilson. Coming from a wide range of backgrounds the board possesses experience from the NHS, Civil Service, Military, Finance and Farming.

“None of the directors claim any expenses of any nature and this ensures that £1 raised goes directly to successful applicants. No overheads, no hidden costs … a group dedicated to giving money away.

“The board was further strengthened when Alan Davidson, ex Head of Finance for a large number of public sector bodies joined in September.

Every application received is treated with great respect and reviewed on its individual merit. The scope of applications is wide ranging, diverse and not every applicant is successful. However, the successful applicants are outnumbering the less successful bodies by a ratio of four to one.

“Not only are funds available the SIF board also provides additional advice and assistance drawn from decades of political campaigning.

“The funds granted have allowed individuals and groups to undertake campaign activities that may have been beyond their financial ability. Also, SIF have provided seed funding to allow the launch of an enterprise which then becomes self-funding.”

Sunday National editor and The National founder Richard Walker said: “This is the first time The National has organised a public event. Its aim is to provide an opportunity for the whole independence movement to come together. There will be a range of speakers talking about why Scotland must now take control.”